Storyline: Season Suspension

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He is one of professional sports most-outgoing and charismatic owners, and Mark Cuban doesn’t shy away from offering his thoughts on a wide-variety of topics. The Mt. Lebanon native and owner of the Dallas Mavericks told the PM Team he believes professional sports could have games being played in two months. “If things really go our way, it’s not inconceivable to me–and this is me being hopeful and not being scientific–that we could potentially play games in early June,” Cuban said.

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But Cuban’s optimism is rooted in science and medicine. “I think we’re coming back,” Cuban said. “I can’t tell you exactly when, but this is purely a science and doctors thing. My attitude always is it’s not about if the glass is half empty or half full, it’s who’s pouring the water. In this particular case, it’s the scientists pouring the water. All I know from all the science and everything that I’m reading, I think we’re making enough advances that several of them will come through so we can start planning what a comeback would look like. I’m a big believer in American exceptionalism, and everything I’m starting to hear in terms of the science is coming along and the medical advances that we’re making to fight this thing makes me very positive. If I had to bet, and this is more a guess than a bet, I’d say early June is when you see teams start to take the field and maybe play games just for television.”

The NBA has considered a similar setup in Las Vegas. Lakers star LeBron James initially voiced his displeasure about playing games without fans but has since softened his stance. “LeBron is right. It’s hard to play without fans,” said Johnson, who stepped down as Lakers president of basketball operations in 2019. “You play one game, you’ll adjust to not having fans there. We’ve all played our whole life on the playgrounds and in pickup games without fans being there. Basketball players will know how to adjust.”

Even if Johnson admitted he is “looking forward to see if the Lakers are going to win the championship,” he seemed more concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic than worried if sports will resume. “I hope that happens. But first the players have to be safe,” Johnson said. “The numbers have to be stabilized. America and all of us who live in this great country we live in need sports, especially in a time like this. But only if everybody is safe.”

Will the NBA’s indefinite suspension limit what the Warriors do with the checkbook in the offseason? “We’re looking at all of those questions and the possible answers. But I don’t really have a good sense yet because I really have no idea how this is gonna shake out,” Lacob told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic on Thursday morning. “We don’t know what the salary cap is gonna be, we don’t know what the luxury tax is gonna be. We don’t really know what we can plan on at this point. We just have to look at a lot of different scenarios. That’s what we’re doing right now. It could make a huge difference, it might make no difference.”

As the coronavirus pandemic continues across the world, NBA owners are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. The league plans to keep all options to resume the season available for the time being, sources told ESPN, but the financial realities of the situation demand near immediate action. That has become clear in talks between the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and player agents, sources told ESPN, as the league tries to get its finances in order in the event the rest of the season must be canceled.

The league’s CBA includes a force majeure clause, enabling owners to cancel games and recover salary in the event of a pandemic. This clause also gives the league a 60-day window within which it can rip up the CBA entirely — effectively beginning a work stoppage. No one wants to do that. But it underscores the gravity of the situation. Still, in recent years the two sides have worked as well together as ever, and the CBA isn’t set to expire until 2024.

The agreement between owners and players in the last CBA calls for roughly splitting revenue 50/50 and also splitting the coming losses. So, the owners want to hold back a percentage of players’ checks going forward — both giving them extra money they can use now, if needed, and also to help balance the books in the event some, or all, of the remainder of the season is canceled. From an economic standpoint, both sides would prefer to limit the pain of the shutdown to only this season and not start next season with IOUs on the ledger. Setting the money aside now would help do that.

Eric Gordon said he would not object to having a season restarted in a sequestered location, one of the ideas the NBA is considering. But he also indicated it is too soon to know if even that will be possible. “That sounds like almost our only option,” Gordon said. “That’s the only thing that can make sense. Just coop us up in a hotel for months and see if we can have that chance to have the season. It’s still a dicey situation, so we’re just hoping this virus calms down and goes away quickly. As of right now, it doesn’t seem like it is.”

Eric Gordon works out at home without knowing when to ramp up for a return that is in question. But he is unwilling to allow himself to fret over what a season lost to the coronavirus crisis would mean for him and the veteran, win-now Rockets considering the far greater concerns. “It’s hard to explain how I feel because of the situation we’re all dealing with,” Gordon said. “That’s the real concern. Just try to stay away from everybody, keep healthy.”

As the NBA considers options for a potential return, Matisse Thybulle put the suspension of his rookie season amid the coronavirus pandemic into perspective. “As much as I want to say basketball is the most important thing in the world, it’s not when you are talking about people’s lives and people’s health,” the 76ers reserve guard said Wednesday. “The small amount of control that we see that we have is scary. So I think trying to focus on controlling what we can control as most people are doing, self-quarantining, I think that has been like my number one focus and I hope it is for most people because, NBA season or not, it doesn’t matter unless you are healthy.”

To keep in shape, Thybulle is working out with weights provided by the Sixers, doing yoga, and running while practicing social distancing. He hasn’t been able to play an actual game or get an on-court workout. However, he does some form shooting with a basketball while lying on his bed. “I think to a certain degree with staying physically prepared, you stay mentally prepared and vice versa,” Thybulle said. “I think the meditation and mindfulness stuff I am doing now will serve me a lot once this season does come back.”

Chris Paul unsure about season cancelation

In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Paul, who also serves as president of the National Basketball Players Association, was asked if he feels the NBA season will be canceled. “To tell the truth, I don’t know,” he said, before adding it’s difficult to plan a date to resume with so much uncertainty about safety. “We’re all playing the sit-and-wait game, and most of all, trying to get this virus contained. That’s the top priority.”

If the NBA cancels the season, players, especially those who received pay advances, could refund millions of dollars to league owners. Paul said players are “aware” of discussions regarding compensation, but said he doesn’t sense any panic. “As long as we have the conversations about it and try to make sure that guys are prepared as possible, I think we’ll be fine,” Paul said, adding that he’s in constant communication with players who call to seek additional information. “I’m happy guys want to know what’s going on, and guys want to be informed,” he said. “I can’t say it enough: I think we’ve got the best body of players in our league.”

On ESPN’s The Hoop Collective podcast, he said he was “scolded” by the league and the Players Association for his pessimistic outlook on the situation. From the 29:00 mark of the pod: “I’ve swing from optimism to pessimism, and I’ve been scolded by both the league office and the union for being pessimistic. Scolded!… Sometimes you do things and the league is like, ‘You know what, we really appreciated that, that was great’, and sometimes you ruin their day. That’s just how it goes.”

Porzingis’ current team, the Dallas Mavericks, were in the No. 7 playoff position in the Western Conference — 10 games clear of the playoff cutoff — when play was suspended March 11 after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert first tested positive for COVID-19. “At the end, this is much bigger than an NBA season or sports in general,” Porzingis told SiriusXM NBA Radio. “So, of course I would’ve loved — and hopefully we still do it — to get that first playoff experience. Whatever happens, I still have a lot of time in my career to still achieve that.”

Shams Charania: There’s definitely a lot of optimism. A lot of the owners, GMs, players, they all want to have a season. And in conversations behind the scenes, whether it’s with the league or the NBPA with their players, etc, everyone understands how much money is at stake and again, this isn’t done for the money. At the end of the day, they can’t throw these guys out there if there are health risks at stake, and they won’t. But the understanding of how much money still is on the line for the season, for to crown a champion in an abbreviated season, I think that will always keep the hope alive for trying to have a season.

If the NBA season can’t resume, it will be left incomplete for James and his teammates, but not without special moments. “I will have some satisfaction of being with my brothers, being with my guys, thinking about some of the road trips that we had, thinking about some of the games we lost, some of the games we won, some of the games we overcame, and then everything we’ve been going through this season,” James said. “Just the ups and downs not only on the floor but off the floor, everything that we’ve had to endure as Laker faithful, us as players and coaching staff and an organization. “Closure? No, but to be proud of what we were able to accomplish to this point, I’ll be able to look back and say we did something special in that small period of time.”

If returning to the court to salvage the 2019-20 season proves to be impossible, Pelinka said he will still feel some sense of accomplishment regarding the Lakers’ campaign. “It’s almost like I look at our season like a series of tests, and we got a lot of As. And we got some A-pluses and some A-minuses. And I think there has been a lot of success in that,” he said. “We haven’t had the chance to take a final exam yet. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to celebrate the As that we’ve gotten so far.”

“Even professional athletes who test negative for COVID-19 with regular testing could be false positives and could get sick,” said Summer Johnson McGee, dean of the School of Health Sciences at the University of New Haven in Connecticut. The risk is amplified by the nature of athletic competition. There is no room for social distancing amid constant physical contact in football and basketball. Baseball has its tradition of players spitting and managers arguing, nose-to-nose, with umpires. “It’s not just the games,” Chang said. “Every practice is a high-risk transmission event.”

The National Basketball Players Association stressed during Tuesday’s conference call with NBA agents that no decision has been made about resuming the season, a league source confirmed. The agents were also informed that there hasn’t been a consensus on a cutoff date to make a decision. However, the NBPA did reiterate how owners could withhold 25% of players’ remaining salary if the season is canceled. Predraft guidelines along with the uncertainties with this season’s revenue sharing and next season’s salary cap were among other topics.

The repayments will hit hardest for players who receive their paychecks on a six-month cycle, who receive more money per pay cycle but don’t get checks during the off-season. (Agents usually prefer 12-month payment plans to protect players from over-spending, and to keep them from struggling once the season ends and paychecks stop rolling in.) It will also hit hard for some players who received advance payments on their contracts. Teams often use advances to lure free agent players to sign deals sooner, at times offering full or partial payment of contracts upfront.

Jenkins was hopeful the season would resume but also placed basketball in a bigger context “This is a global pandemic, and we realize that basketball pales in comparison to what’s happening in just life in general,” Jenkins said. “We do realize that basketball is a big portion of people’s daily lives and happiness and outlets, just like sports in general. But we all do realize that doesn’t come without making sure there’s a safe world that we’re living in.”

“I have some basketballs around, I have enough space in my apartment where I can tinker around with some different basketball training apps like HomeCourt, do some different dribbling drills,” Harris said. “Then just little form shooting, if you’re sitting on the couch just watching Netflix hanging out I can just sit there shooting like you would back in the day when you were a kid, just laying there thinking about different scenarios, shooting the ball in your hands.”

The Lakers plan to ask top-level executives to voluntarily defer 20% of their pay as the team navigates its finances during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to people familiar with the situation. The requests have not been made, but will be done in hopes of avoiding cuts that impact lower level staff members. Once the deferments begin, they will last until the first regular season game of the 2020-21 season or mid-December, whichever comes sooner.

On an Instagram Live with his Banana Boat buddy Chris Paul, Melo was asked how he is staying mentally prepared for the rest of the current season: “First of all, it’s very hard…due to the unknown. We don’t know if what’s going to happen. We don’t know when it’s going to happen. We don’t know how it’s going to happen. So that’s the hard part is dealing with the unknown. You don’t know how hard to go. You don’t know how many days a week to go, it’s just different things and different ways that you got to play with. But you also got to stay on point, you got to stay sharp.”

So many events that we’re so used to coming aren’t going to be there. How do you have a season? Do you think they should, by any means? There’s been talk about going to Vegas or Atlantic City or something, some neutral site? Is that feasible? Jared Dudley: Vegas is the only place that you could do this at. And the reason why, because it is the only place that has the infrastructure of hotel rooms, convention centers, where you don’t even have to go outside to be able to play a basketball game, eat food, sleep in a hotel room. You got the Mandalay Bay, Delano and the Four Seasons, you don’t have to go outside. You can go to every arena. So, if you wanted to bunker down, lock everybody down, to be able to play in there, no one in, no one out.

Jared Dudley: But then, the question is, are we going to be a society by June, July, that we have enough testing for security, hotel personnel, cleaning crew? And now they can’t leave, because if they go home … they have to stay on site for 60 days, maybe 90. And that’s where I get to the point, are we going to get there. Because it’s a ticking thing. You have to be able to July 1, start the season, maybe July 15 to have the season and not affect it. So, you have a time date. We hear the president, we hear Dr. Fauci, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Are people still not working? Are you allowed to do your job? Are you (reporters) not going to be able to cover it at the arena? No. It makes it less and less likely. For me being less optimistic. I’m hoping we find a vaccine. But if something crazy doesn’t happen, I just don’t see it. And another thing people aren’t talking about, one of the biggest things, let’s just say, “Hey, as a society, yes, we can do that.” Are the players going to be ready when you’re not allowed to use any facilities to work out? We have a stay at home order in California. I technically can’t work out. I have a treadmill and I have an elliptical.

League assessing rapid COVID-19 testing devices

In recent weeks, officials within the NBA and NBPA have been collaborating in assessing the viability of multiple blood-testing devices for the novel coronavirus that could provide accurate results within a matter of minutes, a process that would hopefully enable the league to track the virus in what’s considered a critical first step toward resuming play in the near future. Multiple league sources close to the situation said the league and players union have been looking at what sources familiar with the matter have described as “diabetes-like” blood testing in which someone could, with the prick of a finger, be tested quickly and results could be gained inside of 15 minutes.

Chatter about potentially playing games at neutral sites — or cities where the virus spread currently remains low — has circulated through the league, including the potential for all teams to play in one city, or for games to be split among two locations, one in the Western Conference and one in the Eastern Conference. “If there’s a will, there’s a way. Logistically, it can get done,” one GM said, while another cautioned against the risk of even one infected player.

Danny Green: “I think by any means necessary we’re going to try and salvage the season. And right now we’re fighting… Most guys think that for sure we’re going to have a season, it’s just going to start later than we expected, and just trying to get the next season to be pushed back is not going to be as easy as people think it’s going to be. (The second half of this season is) probably going to start in mid to late May maybe, that’s what we’re hoping for at the earliest. Or maybe earlier than that, but that’s the earliest we’re looking at, mid to late May, and it’ll probably go through August (or) as late as September I guess.”

Celtics center Enes Kanter estimates it would take a minimum two to three weeks for players to get their bodies in game shape. Part of the reason, he said, is the shear time players have had away from the court. Kanter believes a second training camp-like period would probably be needed. “You can’t just say ‘OK, we’re going to play the games a week later.’ Some players are doing some things. Some players are in their apartments not doing anything,” Kanter said during a conference call. “We need to make sure everybody is doing their stuff and is in good shape to go out there and compete if we jump straight into playoffs.”

Garrett Temple spends his quarantine time with his fiancée, Miss USA 2017 Kara McCullough, and their chocolate lab. He also is using the unexpected down time to study for the LSAT law school admission exam and would like to be an NBA general manager or perhaps a team owner. “This isn’t the New York people have seen,” Temple said. “No people or cars. My fiancée and I are fine. I did not test positive (for COVID-19) but some of my teammates did. We quarantined and now we’re staying at home like we’re supposed to. Just us and our dog.”
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April 10, 2020 | 7:25 am EDT Update

Wizards keeping Shabazz Napier?

John Wall’s return significantly elevates expectations surrounding the Wizards next season and will make the team’s offseason decision-making process that much more important. In the case of Napier and Bertans, Washington’s general manager Tommy Sheppard talked highly of both in a Q&A with Dave Johnson Thursday. “I think with [Napier and Bertans], when we acquired them not as rentals we acquired them to stay here,” Sheppard said. “I think the players that we acquired, they’re here to show that they can be here for the future. With Davis and Shabazz, they showed enough to us that certainly we would love to retain them. We plan to.”
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Napier started eight games and averaged 12.2 points, 4.4 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals while shooting 43.1% from the field and 38.1% from three. Based on production alone, it’s not that surprising Sheppard wants to bring the former UConn star back. However, if the Wizards can re-sign Napier this summer, they’d have quite a lot of viable point guards on their roster going into next season. Wall will be back and Ish Smith will be in the final year of his two-year contract.
He is one of professional sports most-outgoing and charismatic owners, and Mark Cuban doesn’t shy away from offering his thoughts on a wide-variety of topics. The Mt. Lebanon native and owner of the Dallas Mavericks told the PM Team he believes professional sports could have games being played in two months. “If things really go our way, it’s not inconceivable to me–and this is me being hopeful and not being scientific–that we could potentially play games in early June,” Cuban said.
But Cuban’s optimism is rooted in science and medicine. “I think we’re coming back,” Cuban said. “I can’t tell you exactly when, but this is purely a science and doctors thing. My attitude always is it’s not about if the glass is half empty or half full, it’s who’s pouring the water. In this particular case, it’s the scientists pouring the water. All I know from all the science and everything that I’m reading, I think we’re making enough advances that several of them will come through so we can start planning what a comeback would look like. I’m a big believer in American exceptionalism, and everything I’m starting to hear in terms of the science is coming along and the medical advances that we’re making to fight this thing makes me very positive. If I had to bet, and this is more a guess than a bet, I’d say early June is when you see teams start to take the field and maybe play games just for television.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
The NBA has considered a similar setup in Las Vegas. Lakers star LeBron James initially voiced his displeasure about playing games without fans but has since softened his stance. “LeBron is right. It’s hard to play without fans,” said Johnson, who stepped down as Lakers president of basketball operations in 2019. “You play one game, you’ll adjust to not having fans there. We’ve all played our whole life on the playgrounds and in pickup games without fans being there. Basketball players will know how to adjust.”
Even if Johnson admitted he is “looking forward to see if the Lakers are going to win the championship,” he seemed more concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic than worried if sports will resume. “I hope that happens. But first the players have to be safe,” Johnson said. “The numbers have to be stabilized. America and all of us who live in this great country we live in need sports, especially in a time like this. But only if everybody is safe.”
Pelicans director of mental health and wellness Jenna Rosen has been working with players twice a day with a Zoom of mental exercises and stress-relieving exercises according to Griffin. “We’re trying to be as creative as we can to have constant contact with people and make them understand that we’re still part of the same family, and family matters vitally to this group,” Griffin said. “I think our players are very close individually. I think organizationally, I think if you talk to most of the people in it, they would tell you that ‘family’ is a big focus of what we’ve brought to this, so we’re trying as best we can to connect with as many people on as many different levels as possible.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
When Thursday night’s quarterfinals action in the NBA 2K Players Tournament wrapped up, the four players remaining come from just two NBA teams — the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns. Young guns DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker, both from the Suns, won their matchups, while Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell of the Clippers each emerged victorious.
Storyline: eSports
The semifinals begin Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The matchups are Ayton vs. Beverley and Booker vs. Harrell, providing Suns-Clippers undercurrents in both games. Interestingly enough, both pairs were the only tournament participants from the same team among the original field of 16. Ayton faced the toughest test among the semifinalists on Thursday during his battle with Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks. Booker cruised by Rui Hachimura (Washington Wizards) in the first game and Harrell took out No. 16 seed Derrick Jones Jr., who defeated top seed Kevin Durant during the opening game of the tournament.
“I was 26 at the time, number three pick [in the 2006 NBA draft], a really low point in my life, and I got a text from Robert Lara, the Lakers security and one of Kobe’s best friends. He said ‘Hey, what’s your address, I’ve got something in the mail for you.’” Morrison assumed he was getting a magazine from Lara, whom he had a friendship with during his time with the Lakers. “I get the package, and it’s an autographed jersey from Didier Drogba, who was my favorite player,” Morrison said. “I’m a Chelsea fan. It was from Kobe. A game-worn jersey, signed by Didier Drogba, ‘To Adam, Best Wishes.’”
“The night he passed, I’m scrolling through, reading everything, and I’m emotional,” Morrison said. “And on Chelsea’s Instagram page, it’s him with Didier Drogba holding up a jersey and it says ‘To Adam, Best Wishes.’ So he went up to my favorite player, got it signed for me without me even asking, and sent it to me when he knew I was low. It’s unbelievable. I still have the jersey. That’s what Kobe Bryant was, man. He was just one of those dudes who understood his own aura and could sense when people were down.” Morrison said he was lucky to play alongside Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP and one-time regular season MVP. Bryant was posthumously elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Nonetheless, Johnson still drew parallels between HIV and COVID-19 because of the similarities regarding the misconceptions about the respective viruses, the inadequate testing, the lack of available drugs and how the pandemic has hurt the black community. “African Americans are leading in terms of dying from the coronavirus and most of them in the hospital are African American,” Johnson said. “We have to do a better job as African Americans to follow social distancing, stay at home and make sure we educate our loved ones and our family members and do what we’re supposed to do to keep safe and healthy. Then when you add that up, we don’t have access to health care, quality health care. So many of us are uninsured. That also creates a problem, too. Just like it did with HIV and AIDS.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Consider the common perception about HIV when Johnson learned he first had it. “When I announced, it was considered a white, gay man’s disease,” Johnson said. “People were wrong. Black people didn’t think they could get HIV and AIDS.” That partly explains why Johnson went public with his diagnosis. It also partly explains why Johnson eventually raised more than $10 million for HIV/AIDs research and charities through his foundation. Nonetheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that in 2018 black people accounted for 42% of new HIV diagnoses. USA TODAY recently reported that black people are dying of coronavirus at much higher rates compared to other Americans in major cities. Johnson offered varying reasons that explain such a troubling trend.
April 9, 2020 | 9:12 pm EDT Update
Will the NBA’s indefinite suspension limit what the Warriors do with the checkbook in the offseason? “We’re looking at all of those questions and the possible answers. But I don’t really have a good sense yet because I really have no idea how this is gonna shake out,” Lacob told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic on Thursday morning. “We don’t know what the salary cap is gonna be, we don’t know what the luxury tax is gonna be. We don’t really know what we can plan on at this point. We just have to look at a lot of different scenarios. That’s what we’re doing right now. It could make a huge difference, it might make no difference.”
Storyline: Season Suspension
As Illinois goes through this together, the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks, is proud to be playing a critical role with our city, state and federal response to the pandemic. As announced on March 25, our arena and outside campus will be transformed into a logistics hub where we will be assisting with food storage for hunger relief, first responder staging and the collection of critically needed medical supplies.

Moving forward, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, will be utilizing the United Center as a satellite storage facility in response to the increased need for food. By alleviating space in the food bank’s warehouse, the Food Depository can bring additional volunteers into their facility to build more family food boxes in an environment that adheres to social distancing protocols. These boxes will continue to be distributed to those in need by the Food Depository’s partner network throughout Chicago and Cook County.
Storyline: Coronavirus

April 9, 2020 | 7:56 pm EDT Update

Pau Gasol contemplating retirement

With the league’s current campaign suspended indefinitely due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus, Gasol, who will turn 40 years old in July, is contemplating retirement at this point of his career. “With this recovery process and the injury that I have been dealing with for more than a year, it’s undoubtedly inevitable to think about retirement,” Gasol said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País, via NBC Sports. “Also, taking into account that I will be 40 years old in a few months. So, [retirement] is definitely on my mind.”
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“It’s something that will come one time, sooner or later,” Gasol said of retirement. “We hope that time hasn’t come yet. But I also take the opportunity to focus on the Gasol Foundation and other off-court projects. And also think of what my next professional stage may be, my next challenges. All this while I’m still recovering, trying to give myself a chance to keep playing. Now, the priority is to overcome this pandemic among all. Everything else is completely secondary.”
In 2011, Jacob Hamilton was a 26-year-old cinematographer looking to expand his portfolio by directing a documentary. He came across a two-minute interview online titled, “The Man Who Invented the Jump Shot.” Four years later, Hamilton was screening his short film in Kevin Durant’s backyard, shocked to see one of the NBA’s best-ever jump shooters geek out over footage he’d gathered of Kenny Sailors from the 1940s. The film was still only halfway to the finish line. “Jump Shot” premiered at South by Southwest in 2019, but still hasn’t been released to the public. That will change next week, when the feature-length documentary will be available online April 16-18. Pre-order is underway at jumpshotmovie.com.
“Jump Shot” got two of its most important assists from NBA superstars Steph Curry and Durant. Hamilton had simply hoped for an interview when, through a connection between an executive producer and a chaplain for USA Basketball, the former Golden State Warriors teammates were introduced to Sailors’ legacy. The crew flew to Oakland and were invited to Durant’s home. Partway through the screening, KD asked for the film to be paused. Hamilton feared the worst, a bored millennial. In reality, the former Longhorns star was mesmerized. “These are moves that I’m doing today,” Hamilton recalls Durant telling them. “I was literally working on this in practice this week, and Kenny was doing this 60-70 years ago? This is unbelievable.”
Curry took his adoration a step further when he told Hamilton he was not only up for an interview, but wanted to get more involved. That’s how basketball’s greatest jump shooter became an executive producer. Both players are interviewed in the film, along with a lineup of basketball legends — from Dirk Nowitzki to Bob Knight, Nancy Lieberman and Clark Kellogg. Their astonishment at Sailors’ pioneering shot, particularly a photograph that appeared in Life magazine in 1946, will resonate with basketball fans.
April 9, 2020 | 6:35 pm EDT Update
When this all ends, whenever that is, what’s the one thing you’re most looking forward to doing on that first day? Dion Waiters: Just trying to hoop. Just vibe out and hoop. I’ve had damn near the whole season off. I’m trying to get back and hoop. I got something to prove at the end of the day. During this quarantine I’ve been dieting, getting my weight down, getting in shape. For me, it’s just playing basketball.
“I am in such debt to the people who worked so incredibly hard on the technical side to make what I believe is still magic — there might be some elves involved, it is Disney after all,” ‘The Jump” host Rachel Nichols told Insider. “I can’t believe that they were able to figure out a way to produce an entire television show with everybody at home, not a single person in our television facility.”
April 9, 2020 | 6:29 pm EDT Update
If nothing else at a time when the Clippers have more questions than answers amid the NBA’s hiatus because of COVID-19, the team is confident in at least one thing to be true. Should the season resume, the same roster that had been dogged by injuries since last summer is on track to be the healthiest it has been. “The Kawhi [Leonard] we’ll see will be in phenomenal shape,” coach Doc Rivers said, adding that Paul George “is another guy that’s goig to be in phenomenal shape. Reggie [Jackson], who was injured when we got him, will now be healthy.”
Since there is a pause on all roster transactions across the league, the 10-day contract Noah signed remains in effect one month later. That has left the former defensive player of the year able to work into shape under the supervision of the team’s medical and performance staffs. “It’s been great for him,” Rivers said. “There are certain individuals who this rest period, or whatever this is called, has been a benefit, and Jo is one of them for sure because he’s got a chance now to get healthy, and to get in shape and that will be a factor for him. He will be a guy that will be able to help us.”
A whopping 72% of Americans polled said they would not attend if sporting events resumed without a vaccine for the coronavirus. The poll, which had a fairly small sample size of 762 respondents, was released Thursday by Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business. When polling respondents who identified as sports fans, 61% said they would not go to a game without a vaccine. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.6%.
Storyline: Coronavirus
NBA star DeMarcus Cousins first hired Noordin Said to be his personal security guard in 2015 during All-Star weekend in New York. From there, the two hit it off, and Said worked the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2017 All-Star weekend in New Orleans at Cousins’ side. Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green hired Said to be his personal security guard during the 2018 playoffs, and Said worked this season with Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo at most home games.
Storyline: Coronavirus
April 9, 2020 | 5:21 pm EDT Update
As the coronavirus pandemic continues across the world, NBA owners are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. The league plans to keep all options to resume the season available for the time being, sources told ESPN, but the financial realities of the situation demand near immediate action. That has become clear in talks between the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and player agents, sources told ESPN, as the league tries to get its finances in order in the event the rest of the season must be canceled.
Storyline: Salary Reductions
The league’s CBA includes a force majeure clause, enabling owners to cancel games and recover salary in the event of a pandemic. This clause also gives the league a 60-day window within which it can rip up the CBA entirely — effectively beginning a work stoppage. No one wants to do that. But it underscores the gravity of the situation. Still, in recent years the two sides have worked as well together as ever, and the CBA isn’t set to expire until 2024.
The agreement between owners and players in the last CBA calls for roughly splitting revenue 50/50 and also splitting the coming losses. So, the owners want to hold back a percentage of players’ checks going forward — both giving them extra money they can use now, if needed, and also to help balance the books in the event some, or all, of the remainder of the season is canceled. From an economic standpoint, both sides would prefer to limit the pain of the shutdown to only this season and not start next season with IOUs on the ledger. Setting the money aside now would help do that.
Karnisovas will have full decision making over basketball operations, including the futures of Forman, head coach Jim Boylen, and the entire coaching staff. He was even asked about Paxson, and had the option of having the organization move on from the long-time Bulls executive if that’s what he desired. However, a source indicated that Karnisovas had no issues with the Reinsdorfs keeping Paxson around.